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Wonders of Technology

Since I’ve started using Mint.com to oversee and manage all of my various accounts, my credit score has gone up ~25 points (in the last 3 months.)

This is a pretty serious deal when you think about it; while the rest of the American economic and retail culture is aligned with driving your score in the other direction. Here is Mint, a free service that can actually help you get control.

What I’m finding utterly mystifying, however, is that there are so many companies that don’t allow you to access your account using Mint. For instance, Paychecks (the payroll service) doesn’t allow you to access their 401k interface using Mint.

Fidelity doesn’t allow you to access your Advisor IRA accounts because there is an additional account selection bit involved in the login process.

AES Success.org (Student Loans Company) doesn’t allow you to access your account for any extended period of time due to security questions being randomly inserted into the process. This last one is rather ridiculous when you consider that it’s just a loan; and so many people in this country have student loans I find it difficult to believe that this is entirely about privacy concerns.

Having these accounts not be compatible with Mint means that I simply don’t see them. When I get offers for other retirement plans, it’s easy to forget the details of the investment accounts I have because I’m not having their brand reinforced on a daily basis inside of the control panel I use to manage all of my finances. I log into my Mint account multiple times per day and these companies are losing a huge advantage against their competitors.

When I spoke to someone at AES tech support, the attendant told me in no uncertain terms that she’d submit my feature request (for compatibility with Mint) but that she could guarantee it would be summarily discarded.

People want to know why there’s a credit crisis in this country? Tell them to go ask the privacy advocates making a stink about absolutely nothing.

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